5 Reasons to Avoid Letting Your Community Management Company Handle Your Website

  • Post category:HOA Websites
  • Reading time:4 mins read

In the digital age, having a robust online presence is crucial for community associations and HOAs to effectively communicate with residents, streamline operations, and enhance community engagement. However, entrusting the creation and management of your HOA website to your community management company might not be the wisest decision. Here are five compelling reasons why:

1. Lack of Expertise in Web Design and Development

Community management companies excel in managing properties and facilitating community interactions, but they often lack the specialized skills required for effective web design and development. Crafting an engaging and functional website demands expertise in areas such as user experience design, coding languages, and responsive design principles. Entrusting this task to professionals who understand the intricacies of web development ensures that your HOA website is visually appealing, user-friendly, and technically sound.

2. Hindered Flexibility in Choosing Management Companies

Opting for a community management company to handle your website ties you to their services, making it challenging to switch to a different provider if you’re dissatisfied with their performance. In the industry they call this “having a sticky product”. By separating your website development and management from your community management services, you retain the flexibility to choose the best-fit management company for your HOA without the constraints of bundled services. In other words: it will be easier to leave your association management company for another one should the need arise.

3. Inability to Create a Comprehensive Association Website

Community management companies may offer basic website solutions, but these often fall short in providing the comprehensive features and functionalities required for HOAs. From online payment portals and event calendars to document libraries and user portals, a full-featured association website demands a diverse range of tools tailored to meet the specific needs of your community. Collaborating with experienced web designers ensures that your website encompasses all essential elements required for efficient association management and resident engagement.

4. Limited Focus on User Experience and Accessibility

Community management companies often prioritize operational efficiency over user experience and accessibility when it comes to website development. A user-centric approach, focusing on intuitive navigation, mobile responsiveness, and accessibility features, is essential for ensuring that residents can easily access information and interact with the HOA website across various devices and abilities. By partnering with dedicated web design professionals, you can ensure that your website is optimized for user experience, thereby enhancing resident satisfaction and engagement within the community.

5. One-Size-Fits-All Approach

Community management companies often adopt a one-size-fits-all approach to website development, offering generic templates and limited customization options. However, a cookie-cutter website fails to capture the unique essence and requirements of your homeowners association. A custom website solution, crafted by experienced web designers, allows for extensive customization and personalization to reflect your HOA’s identity, values, and operational workflows. From branding elements and layout design to feature integrations and content organization, a customized website ensures a seamless and cohesive online experience for residents and board members alike.

Contact a Company Specializing in Association Websites

While community management companies excel in their core services, entrusting them with your HOA website may not yield the desired results. By collaborating with professional web designers and developers, you gain access to specialized expertise, flexibility in choosing management services, comprehensive website functionalities, tailored solutions, and personalized customization options. Investing in a standalone website solution ensures that your HOA’s online presence is not just functional but also reflective of its unique identity and community-centric values.

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Create a Welcome Email for you HOA Website

  • Post category:Writing
  • Reading time:4 mins read

Drafting a welcome letter/email for your HOA community is an important step in launching a new website. You want it to be concise and clearly written but also contain enough information for your members to understand what the new website provides and how to use it. We have drafted countless emails such as this and have put together a framework that can be used as a template for crafting such an email.

Welcome Email Template:

Dear HOA Community Members,

We are thrilled to welcome you to our new and improved community website! This platform has been designed to enhance our community’s communication and make important information more accessible to all of you.

To get started and access all the resources available on the website, please follow these simple steps:

1. Create Your Login Account:

  • To ensure a smooth registration process, please use the exact email address from which you received this email.
  • Go to the following link: www.myhoawebsite.com/login/
  • Follow the instructions on the page to reset your password and create your login account.  Once your password is reset you will be able to login to the website and access the secure members-only portal. 

2. Explore the Features: Our new website offers a wide range of features and resources that can benefit you as a HOA Community member:

  • FAQs: Get answers to common questions about our community.
  • Searchable Document Library: Find important documents, such as HOA bylaws, meeting minutes, and more.
  • Portal Links: Links to online dues payments, ARC applications, and Estoppel Certificate requests.
  • Events Calendar: Stay updated on community events, meetings, and activities.

We encourage you to explore the website and utilize its features to enhance your experience as a HOA Community member. 

Should you encounter any issues during the registration process you may submit a support request using the following link: www.hoawebsite.com/support/

Thank you for being a part of our vibrant HOA Community. We believe that this new website will be a valuable tool for you and help us stay connected and well-informed.

Warm regards,

HOA Community Board

P.S. We will continue to update and improve the website based on your feedback and evolving community needs, so please feel free to share your suggestions with us.

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Secure your HOA Website

  • Post category:HOA Websites
  • Reading time:4 mins read

When it comes to building a website for a Homeowners Association (HOA), security should be of the utmost importance. After all, an HOA website is not only a source of information for residents but also a hub for important communications and documents. It is crucial that sensitive information, such as personal contact details and financial data, is kept secure to prevent unauthorized access and protect the privacy of residents. Here are a few key security measures that every HOA website should have:

Secure Login System

A secure login system is essential for any website that requires user authentication. It should use strong encryption algorithms, such as SHA-256 or SHA-512, to ensure that login credentials are not intercepted by hackers. Furthermore, residents should be required to use a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters for their passwords, in order to make them more difficult to crack.

SSL Encryption

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption is a must-have for any website that handles sensitive information, such as personal details or financial transactions. It ensures that data transmitted between the user’s browser and the server is encrypted, making it impossible for hackers to intercept and read. This can be verified by the presence of a green padlock icon in the browser and “https” in the website’s URL. This website utilizes SSL encryption.


A firewall is a network security system that monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic. It can be used to block unauthorized access to the HOA’s website, protecting it from hackers and other malicious actors. Additionally, many hosting services provide firewall protection by default, which can provide an additional layer of security.

Regular Backups

Regularly backing up the website’s data and storing it at a third-party cloud data center can help to protect against data loss in the event of a cyber-attack or other disasters. This can include everything from the website’s code and content to databases and uploaded files. By keeping a recent copy of the website’s data, it can be quickly restored in case of a security breach.

Access Control

It is important to restrict access to sensitive data and areas of the website to only authorized personnel, such as the board members and management staff. This can include adding an additional level of authentication or assigning user roles to limit who can access what.

Antivirus/Malware Protection

It is important to regularly scan the website for malware and other malicious code, which can lead to data breaches or unauthorized access. There are many free or paid software options available that can help to detect and remove malware.

Regular Security Audits

Regular security audits can help to identify and address any vulnerabilities in the website. They can include testing for SQL injection, cross-site scripting, and other common attacks. The audit should also include a review of the website’s source code to ensure that it is up-to-date and free of any known vulnerabilities.

In addition to these technical measures, it is important for the HOA’s board members and management staff to be aware of the importance of security and be educated on best practices for website security. By doing this, they can take steps to ensure that their website remains secure and that any issues are addressed promptly.

In conclusion, security is crucial for any website, particularly for a Homeowners Association website that deals with sensitive information and financial transactions. By implementing the above-mentioned security measures, the HOA can protect its residents’ personal information and financial data, as well as maintain the integrity of the website.

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Top 10 Features Every HOA Website Should Have

  • Post category:HOA Websites
  • Reading time:5 mins read

When it comes to creating a website for your Homeowners Association (HOA), there are certain features that are essential for an effective online presence. These features not only provide residents with important information and resources but also help to foster communication and engagement within the community.

Below are the top 10 features that every HOA website should have:

Membership Portal

A membership portal allows residents to access exclusive content, view important documents, and stay informed of upcoming events and meetings. Additionally, a member login system can also include a messaging area that allows residents to contact the board and other members directly.

Events Calendar

An events calendar can be used to display upcoming meetings, social events, and other important dates for the community. With the ability to view events online, residents can easily keep track of their schedule and make sure they don’t miss anything important. Community managers should be able to add events to the calendar themselves in order to make last-minute changes and updates.

Discussion Groups

Having online community groups allows residents to share information, ask questions, and offer suggestions in an open and transparent manner. Groups can also be used to create sub-groups for specific topics, such as a gardening group or a social committee.

Newsletters and Email Alerts

Email alerts and newsletters allow the board to keep residents informed of important announcements, changes to community rules, and other information. By having the ability to sign up for email alerts, residents can choose how frequently they want to receive updates, making it more convenient for them.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A FAQ section of a HOA website can provide quick answers to those commonly asked questions. This can save time for both residents and community managers.

Responsive Design

Having a website that is easy to navigate and responsive is a must-have feature. This will allow residents to access the website from any device, whether it be their computer, tablet or smartphone.

Photo Galleries

Online photo galleries can be used to showcase the community’s events, facilities, and amenities. They are also a great way to keep residents informed of the latest happenings in the community.

Community Directory

Incorporating an online community directory into your HOA website is a very useful tool for members to have access to. Listing contact information for other residents can help members keep in touch and communicate with each other.

Document Library

Having a library of important documents such as bylaws, covenants, and meeting minutes available for residents to view online can be a great way to increase transparency and accessibility. It is also a legal requirement in some states.

Contact Forms

Utilizing various contact forms throughout a community website is helpful in directing requests to the correct departments. For example, a billing inquiry could be routed directly to the community Treasurer thus saving all parties time.

An HOA website can be a powerful tool for facilitating communication and engagement within the community. By incorporating the above-mentioned features, the board can create an online platform that effectively connects residents and allows for seamless communication. It can also help to improve transparency, collaboration, and overall satisfaction among the members. With the right website in place, the HOA can foster a strong and cohesive community, which will lead to a more harmonious and successful neighborhood.

To get started building your own community website please contact us.

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New Year, New Website!

  • Post category:HOA Websites
  • Reading time:3 mins read

Happy New Year! As the calendar flips over to a new year, it’s a perfect time to think about building a website for your association.

A website is an essential tool for any modern HOA, COA or association. It’s a central hub for communication, information sharing, and online interactions. A well-designed website can make the lives of both HOA board members and homeowners easier, as well as help build a sense of community within the association.

If you’re considering building a website for your HOA, you should consider hiring HOA Web to do the job. Here’s why:

  1. We specialize in HOA websites. Building a website for an HOA is different from building a website for a small business or personal blog. HOA websites have specific needs and features, such as membership directories, event calendars, and document libraries. At HOA Web, we have years of experience building websites for associations, so we know how to create a website that meets the unique needs of your community.
  2. We offer fully managed solutions. Building a website is just the beginning. You’ll also need to worry about hosting, security, updates, and backups. With HOA Web, you don’t have to worry about any of that. We offer fully managed solutions, which means we handle all the technical details for you. This frees up your time to focus on running your HOA and serving your community.
  3. We build custom websites. Every HOA is different, and your website should reflect that. At HOA Web, we don’t use pre-made templates or cookie-cutter designs. Instead, we work with you to create a custom website that meets your specific needs and reflects the character of your community.

In short, if you’re looking to build a website for your association, HOA Web is a perfect choice. Contact us today for a free estimate!

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States that Require Association Websites

  • Post category:HOA Websites
  • Reading time:2 mins read

In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of states that require homeowner’s associations (HOAs) to have a website. These websites serve as a valuable resource for homeowners, providing important information about the association and the community it serves.

One of the first states to require HOAs to have a website was California. In 2011, California passed Assembly Bill 548, which mandated that HOAs with more than 50 units must maintain a website. This law went into effect in January 2012 and has been successful in providing homeowners with easy access to important information about their association.

Other states have followed California’s lead and now require HOAs to have websites as well. These states include Nevada, Colorado, Texas, and Florida. In Nevada, HOAs with more than 50 units are required to maintain a website, while in Colorado, the threshold is 150 units. Texas requires HOAs with more than 10 units to have a website, while in Florida, all HOAs are required to have a website, regardless of the number of units.

Having a website is not only a requirement in some states, but it is also a valuable tool for HOAs. A website can provide important information about the association, such as contact information, meeting dates and times, community rules and regulations, and more. It can also serve as a platform for communication between the association and homeowners, allowing homeowners to easily stay informed about what is happening in their community.

In addition to providing important information, a website can also be a valuable tool for HOAs to manage their operations. Many HOA management software programs offer the ability to integrate with a website, allowing the association to easily post important documents, such as meeting minutes and financial reports, for homeowners to access. This can save the association time and money by reducing the need to print and distribute documents.

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How to Write About Us Page Copy for your Association

Have you been tasked with putting together content for your community website only to find yourself at a dead end? Writing content on behalf of your community can be a daunting task. Even skilled writers can find it challenging to come up with enough content about their community to fill an entire “About Us” page. To add further stress, your board or web developer may be bugging you to provide that content ASAP. We have put together a guide to help you create an outline so you can knock out that “About Us” page content in no time.

Information to Include

The “About” page for your association should be an informative piece of content outlining what makes your HOA or COA unique. This shouldn’t be a massive essay on everything that exists in your community, though. Instead, it should be a brief outline that sums up the key features of your community.

Ask yourself what you would like to know about your community if you were an outsider looking in. Consider yourself a prospective buyer looking to purchase within your HOA or COA. What information would you be interested in knowing? What would be important to you? Jot down these ideas in a bulleted list for reference when you start writing.

Some Ideas to Start With

If the above exercise didn’t get the juices flowing then consider some of the ideas we have put together in the list below. These are some of the key features that should show up on your association’s “About Us” page.

  • What year was your community founded?
  • How many homes or condominiums are there?
  • Where geographically is your association located?
  • Is there public transit available?
  • What sort of amenities are there? (pool, tennis courts, golf, etc)
  • Are you adjacent to any tourist attractions? Natural areas?
  • How is your HOA/COA structured?
  • How many board members are there?
  • When are your association’s meetings and how often?
  • What are the annual dues for your association?
  • What sort of annual events does your community hold?
  • Information about the City your HOA/COA is in

Again this is just a list of some ideas that may be helpful to get your writing started. Not all of this information may be appropriate to share on your about page (think dues).

Examples of Associations with Good “About Us” Page Copy

Beau Chêne

The Beau Chêne Homeowner’s assocation is a great example of “About Us” page copy. It is short and to the point and cleary outlines the key features of the community. You can view it yourself here or see the screenshot below.

Orinda Woods

The “About Us” page copy for the Orinda Woods HOA is simple but to the point. There are no frills to their website but it gets the message across. Their page could certainly use some photos to break up the copy but the verbiage itself is solid. They also include a blurb about the city they are located in at the bottom of the page.

Covered Bridge Canyon

Covered Bridge Canyon has a great About Us page which includes information about the physical and architectural characteristics of the community. They also detail lot sizes and underground utility features. This is a great example of thinking outside the box on what makes a community unique.

Hopefully, this has provided some great ideas on getting your “About Us” page content started.

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September Reminders

  • Post category:Monthly Reminders
  • Reading time:2 mins read

Believe it or not, the time for kids to start heading back to school is fast approaching or for some of us here already. This means more drivers on the road, school buses in your neighborhoods and kids crossing the street. This is a good time to remind residents to get ready for back to school activities and be extra vigilant when driving around schools in your neighborhood.

Board Meeting Updates

Be sure to update your site with the latest information on your board meetings. Some HOAs skip summer meetings due to residents being on vacation so these September meetings are extra important.

Swimming Pools

If your community has a swimming pool you may want to remind members of back to school hours and closure dates. This is also a good time to ask residents to review the lost and found and come pick up left behind items.

Entering Fall

September will be taking us straight into fall which means cooler weather and rain. Remind residents to wrap up those summer projects and take steps to get ready for the winter. It is easier to clean out gutters and catch up on yard work while the weather is still nice.

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Why Doesn’t My HOA Website Get Very Much Traffic?

  • Post category:HOA Websites
  • Reading time:4 mins read

So you have launched your HOA website and it has been live for some time but you are starting to notice that you only get a handful of visitors each month. It is almost like people in your HOA community are not visiting the website. So what gives?

This isn’t the “Field of Dreams”. Websites do not operate under the “if you build it, they will come” premise. If they did, we would all be rich. In order to get visitors to your HOA website you need to take the following steps:

  • Make your community members aware there is a website for them to visit
  • Utilize tools like mailing lists and social media to notify community members when there is new content on your website
  • Create content that will make people want to visit your website such as news and an events calendar.
  • Make sure your website is accessible via mobile devices

Make Members Aware of your Website

This seems pretty obvious but many HOA managers don’t even let their community members know they have a website at their disposal. When you launch a new HOA website you need to make sure that you let your community know it exists.

If you have a newsletter you send out, inform your members through that. Make them aware at monthly meetings, through social media, etc.

A good strategy to “force” members to visit your website is to store important forms on your site. For example, you could keep your architectural review form on the website. This would force your community members to visit the site to download the form.

Notify HOA Members of New Content

When you post new updates to your site you need a way of letting your community members know. A good example of this would be letting them know through a Facebook page. A better example would be keeping them informed through an email list such as Constant Contact or Mailchimp.

You put in hard work to keep your HOA website updated and you want members to view those updates. What’s more, many of your updates are important and you want as many community members as possible to see them.

Using a platform like an email list is a great way to let your members know there is new content on your site.

Create Informative Content

If your members visit your HOA website and don’t find any up to date content or anything useful they are going to stop using it as a resource. It is important to make sure that what you post on your site is relevant and useful.

Posting things like news and documents are helpful but you can go even further by maintaining a community calendar. A calendar of events will be helpful to HOA members and keep your site content relevant and up to date.

Is your HOA website Mobile Friendly?

The reality is that many of your HOA members will visit your website on their mobile device. This means that it is incredibly important to make sure your site will work on a mobile platform.

If your HOA site doesn’t work on a mobile phone contact us and we can help.

How to you get visitors to your HOA website?

Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments below.

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August Announcements

  • Post category:Monthly Reminders
  • Reading time:2 mins read

Summer seems to be flying by, as usual, and August is almost upon. It is time to start thinking about our updates and reminders for the month of August.

In many locations, especially in the Pacific Northwest, August is fire season. This is a good time to remind residents to limit the use of open flames on their property and to not use fire pits. Creating fire barriers around their properties can help protect their homes and here is a good guide to doing just that: Creating a Defensible Fire Space. Feel free to link to that guide in your announcements.

This is also a good time to remind residents of pool rules, park hours and other summer-related activities which have specific guidelines or hours of use. As summer wears on we tend to get complacent when it comes to rules and a gentle reminder to residents can be helpful.

August is usually a very hot month. Remind your residents to keep their landscaping watered but to also make sure they do not over-water.

HOA Meeting

When is your next HOA meeting? Did you schedule it for August? Keep in mind many families take vacations during this month so your attendance may be low. This is a good time to remind board members and residents of your upcoming meeting date(s). You may even want to try and get a headcount of who can actually make it to the meeting in case you need to reschedule for September.

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